Moose / 4 & 10 months
You ask lots of questions. Lately, you’re asking about certain words and what they mean. You’ll stop us in the middle of a conversation, or in the middle of reading you a book, and ask about a word we’ve just said (the latest ones were “nervous” and “unfair”). You also ask about people, whether they’re on the TV screen, in books or magazines, or in real life. You want to know who they are, and why they are doing whatever it is they’re doing. You’re also asking the big questions – How do babies come out of their mummy’s belly? When I get older, will I die?
You can write almost any letter on command, and also identify words that begin with that letter. You’re still struggling with a few of them, mainly K, Q, X, and Y.
Your drawings have become more elaborate and imaginative. Instead of flowers, grass, sun and sky, which was your standard creation for a long time, now you’ve added people with long hair and uppercase “L”‘s for the noses, clouds, rain and lightning, or beautiful rainbow butterflies with smiling faces. You’re also drawing things that are relevant to you at the time, like characters you’ve seen on TV, or Santa on his sleigh, or portraits of family and friends.
You have many imaginary discussions with your friends when your alone.
You took so well to night-time toilet training, which we started around September or so last year (at 4 years & 4 months). After a month or two of regular accidents, you just got it. Suddenly, you were either sleeping straight through with no accidents, or if you woke up, it was in time to use the toilet. And I am so grateful!
It’s been a long, hard road, but I think you’re finally getting the hang of this business of doing as you’re asked, and straight away. Implementing a reward chart seems to have helped, as has praising you when you do the right thing (which has led to you seeking out our approval when you think you’ve done something right – “Mummy, did I do what you asked straight away?”), trying to ensure you don’t get too hungry or too hyper, and using the spare room as a “calm down” space when needed. Starting preschool, and having to understand a different set of rules there, has also been a great lesson for you.
You pull THE FUNNIEST faces I’ve ever seen. You’re a comedian, you love to be silly and to make people laugh.
You don’t seem to ask to watch TV as much as you used to, and as a result you’re probably only watching it on maybe two occasions per week and only for short periods of time. These days, you’re much more content to just hang out with your little brother on the floor in the family room and play with him and his toys, or bring out your own toys for a bit of imaginary role-playing of your own.
You love to tell us all about the things you’re doing at preschool – the songs you’re singing, the toys you have there, the rules that the teachers expect you to follow, and what you’re learning about how to treat your friends. You make up scenarios to talk about with us – “Mummy, if you’re playing with your friend in the sandpit, it’s not nice to throw sand at your friend because that might make them cry or you might get sand in their eye!”
More and more each day, I can feel you are growing up. You have left the toddler stage behind you now, and you are in preschooler mode, soon to be a real, proper “kid”. Occasionally this makes me feel a little sad, but mostly I’m just excited.
Little R / 10 months
3 months ago, I made this note about you – “can almost sit on his own, will do it for a few seconds at a time before lurching off to one side and needing to be caught before he eats the ground”. Now, you are sitting straight up and with ease, you have gone from a kind of commando-crawl to full hands-and-knees speed crawling, and you’re pulling yourself up in to standing against the furniture. Your latest trick – dancing whenever you hear music. How much can change in so little time!
You can grab for things you want clearly and quickly. You have an activity table with lots of buttons to push and lights and music, and in the middle of it is a hole where you can put plastic balls in. You can very smoothly pick up one of the balls from the ground, raise it up above the play table, and insert it in to the hole with precision.
You still love to roll over and around in bed, making it impossible for us to try you with bedsheets yet. When we enter your room after you’ve woken from a nap, you are usually found on your tummy in your sleeping bag, or sitting or standing, with your smiley little face greeting us between the bars of your cot.
You have a long attention span, especially for things that are new, like new places and objects. You’ve always made it very easy to take you places, you don’t usually fuss about. People always remark that they never hear a peep out of you (although they haven’t been around at the times when you’ve taken hours to get down to sleep)!
Speaking of sleep, you’ve become harder and harder to get down to sleep as you’ve gotten older. You’ve learnt that if we hold you in “the sleepy position” as we call it (horizontally in our arms), or if we enter your room and close the blinds, this means we’re planning on putting you in bed, and you will let us know you’re not happy about it. I think I may have found a sleep routine that seems to work for you though – for the last few days we’ve been working up to putting you down to sleep, instead taking the time to cuddle, calm you down, and read you a book, to prepare you for bed rather than just put you in there. You always have a whinge when we leave your room and close the door, but most of the time it peters out after about a minute or so and you surrender to sleep!
You try to give me kisses on my cheeks and mouth, which sometimes end up being headbutts, and are always slobbery. Lucky they are so cute.
You leave a trail of drool wherever you go – on the floor, your hands, toys, my shoulder. You’ve been drooling almost since the day you were born. I get the constant assurance that “he must have teeth coming”, but months on, still no teeth are to be seen. Your sister was the same. I don’t believe that drool means teeth.
The minute your sister enters the room, you only have eyes for her and you smile and giggle adoringly at her, even if she’s not doing anything in particular.
You are ticklish – mainly under the neck, toes and underarms.
You have always been coy around people outside of your immediate family circle. You’ll be in my arms, they’ll come up to you and talk and smooch on you, and you’ll give them a heart-melting grin, lower your eyelashes, and then turn your face away and bury it in my shoulder.
You can say “Dad” and “Mum” and “That”, but most of all you love babbling gibberish all day long, and I love listening to it.